Gap expands store internship program

Gap, Inc. announced its goal of hiring 5% of all entry level retail associates from its This Way Ahead paid internship program targeting underprivileged youth by 2025.

This Way Ahead. Photo: Gap, Inc.

By 2020, Gap estimates 10,000 students will have participated in the program that was started in 2007.

“This Way Ahead is a game-changer for the teens and young adults who participate,” says Bobbi Silten, EVP, Global Talent and Sustainability at Gap Inc.

Silten added, “Not only do interns have a meaningful first job experience they can include on their resumes, they develop valuable life-skills and build a foundation for future success in the workplace.”

Research has shown that a teenager's first job can have long-term impacts on their salary and attitudes in the workplace.

This Way Ahead aims to teach teens from low income neighborhoods the skills of job readiness and budgeting. The program partners Gap with community non-profit organizations to teach students resume writing and other life skills. Workshops are taught by Gap employee volunteers.

Program participants are aged 16-24 and are then invited to apply for a paid 1- week internship with Gap, Banana Republic or Old Navy. 75% of those interns have been offered long term employment with Gap.

Gap sees results from the program, as employees brought on through This Way Ahead have double the retention.

Currently, This Way Ahead operates in 9 US cities and 3 abroad, including Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Toronto and 2 cities in England.

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